Louisville and Israeli Teens Collaborate on Yom Ha’atzmaut Festivities

(see event photos below)

yom haatzmaut 201503Louisville’s Jewish community celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut on Wednesday, April 22, with an Israeli shuk and festival, delicious food and lots of singing and dancing.

The party had to be moved indoors because of chilly weather and the potential for rain, but it didn’t damper the evening’s fun.

A group of four singers from our Partnership2Gether region, Israel’s Western Galilee, sang Israeli songs in Hebrew, while participants danced and sang along with the songs they knew. The singers were Simona Koren Mizrahi, Lee Koren, Metar Katz, Avihai Balahsan and Anat Elbaz.

Louisville’s BBYO planned the event along with teens from the Partnership 2Gether region in Israel, and the group made lifelong friends in the process.

“The Israeli teens had a great visit,” said Mike Steklof, BBYO director. “The BBYO teens really connected with the teens and are staying in touch with them via social media.”

The Israeli teens visited Presentation and Atherton High Schools and enjoyed learning what it’s like to be an American high school student. They also went to two malls and the Kentucky Derby Museum for a dose of Kentucky history and culture, he said.

yom haatzmaut 201536“The event was a great success, and everyone said they really enjoyed the food and the singers,” Steklof said. “We have invited another group from our Partnership area for next year.”

Partnership2Gether (formerly Partnership with Israel) is a Jewish Agency for Israel program that promotes regional development in Israel by matching communities there with those in the Diaspora. Louisville has been an active part of the program since its inception in 1997.

Jon and Laura Klein are Louisville’s Partnership2Gether chairs.
For more information about Partnership opportunities, contact JCC Senior Vice President and COO Sara Wagner, swagner@jewishlouisville.org.

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